• Member Since 30th Jan, 2012
  • offline last seen 33 minutes ago


A guy. A guy who writes stories. Stories about ponies. (And sometimes robots).

More Blog Posts322

  • 1 week
    More ... more pony?

    Here's the announcement/sneak peek, if you haven't seen it yet.

    So that's what G5 looks like! Maybe!

    Read More

    21 comments · 213 views
  • 2 weeks

    Fanfic is weird.

    So, awhile back, GrandCat started translating The Flash Sentry Papers into Russian. The existence of A) Russian Bronies and B) Russian Bronies that would want to read my fic is something new to me.

    But wait, there's more!

    As not only has my work been translated, it's now been audiobook'd. Or, uh, Youtube reader'd. Just ... in Russian.

    Read More

    9 comments · 94 views
  • 4 weeks
    Slacking on a Sunday

    Got a little over 600 words written today.

    Which sounds less impressive once you consider I didn't really have anything to do today, and I've been shooting for at least the 1000 words / day mark.

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    3 comments · 63 views
  • 6 weeks
    Oh hey, it's 2021, isn't it?

    Time is meaningless in the strange cyberpunk dystopia we live in. But maybe things will be ... LESS dystopian now? Slightly?

    We'll see.

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    1 comments · 138 views
  • 8 weeks
    What does "Auld Lang Syne" mean, anyway?


    2020. It's almost over.

    It's funny, as a year ago, I was in a rather optimistic place. I had a new job lined up! I was going to work on my writing! I even had some vague plans to travel abroad once I got settled in at the new gig!

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    6 comments · 141 views

Tumbleweed vs. Rainbow Roadtrip · 8:41pm Jun 30th, 2019


Why does this exist?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not one to complain about MOAR PONY, especially with The End(tm) approaching fast, but ... Rainbow Roadtrip is pretty perplexing. I mean, it's a one hour pony special, done in the same style of the 2017 movie, just ... by a different studio? Kay? And Wikipedia tells me it was written by one Kim Beyer-Johnson, who did a couple of episodes for the cartoon proper ... just not, uh, great ones? I'm just wondering if this is just an excuse to get more pony made, or if it was somebody's pet project, or what. 'Cause seriously, this was ... odd.

I mean, in the beginning of it at least Pinkie Pie ADMITS that it's not a road trip (what, taking the balloon and all), but the real rub here is that it really isn't a road trip/travel narrative, either. Like, the ponies make it to pony-Minnesota in the first five minutes. Which is a tiny quibble, but still! If you put the term 'road trip' in your title, there should be shenanigans. Ah well.

My bigger criticism is that this just feels ... generic. As honestly, one of the things that makes Friendship is Magic so appealing as a cartoon is that it's got more narrative structure to it than a "girls cartoon" is supposed to have. At least, it's got a lot more in comparison to earlier incarnations of the franchise. As for this one ... uh ... stuff just happens. Ponies go to grayscale-town, make friends with the grayscale ponies to bring color back, and then ... that's it. It feels like a generic 'kids show' script just put on hooves for some reason. I'm not saying Kim Beyer-Johnson had a Rainbow Brite spec-script laying around, but ... yeah. Especially since the "Rainbow gets an invitation" plot isn't really needed, given the Table o' Harmony is still around to point characters at plot as needed. And that's before you start thinking about how a similar "town with no cheer" plot was already done by the show, and done better, to boot. Because having an antagonist does a lot to push a story forward.

Though, as a silver lining, at least the special looks good. Plus it's got some fun new ponies who I expect will have tons of clopfics stories written about them before long. I mean, Kerfluffle has a neat design (a pony with a prosthetic!), and Torque Wrench as Rosie-the-Riveter-pony is a great look. And heck, I even liked Mayor Whats-His-Face proposing to Miss Does-Every-Job-In-Town, because I'm a filthy shipper like that.

Speaking of shipping, I'm also annoyed the show didn't show or tell us which two ponies shared the same bed in the "hotel" room. At the moment I'm gonna say it was Rarity and Applejack and they kept all their friends awake way too late by fooling around a little less quietly than they should have.

But I digress.

So yeah. Generic plot, generic songs (I peaced out early on the finale song, 'cause whatever) and ... well, none of the charm one can expect from the best episodes of the show. I'm not mad about it, at least ... it's just that Rainbow Roadtrip is pretty skippable for anyone except the most hardcore of completists, or at least somebody who's desperate for new pony that hey haven't seen before. Ah well.

Though, as a final note (and a shameless plug), if you want actual pony road trip hijinks (or at least EQG pony-people hijnks), go read Seven Girls, Nine Hundred Forty Three Miles, and One Minivan if you haven't already. It's got a road trip! And shipping! And really shamelessly dumb jokes! And Discord! And a little bit of gratuitous nudity! Something for everyone!

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Comments ( 13 )

Yeah, most of the actual narrative tension came from playing with audience expectations. A town full of desaturated ponies and a dark secret sure seems like it's leading up to something climactic, but... no, no, we're just going to slow-roll the solution.

I look at pony as a toolbox first, so I appreciated what this gave me, but it does feel desperate to fill the entire runtime.

From what I've seen on various reaction sites more people liked this than didn't. But even the people who liked it think the pacing dragged and it would have been better if a subplot or two was cut and the special was 45 minutes instead of 60.

It was enjoyable enough but for an extra long special it's ridiculous that it had absolutely zero stakes. No villains, no real danger, heck not even some kind of time limit for fixing the problem. It felt like something you'd see from a G3 movie.

Yeah, I think this might be the first time in MLP history where a shorter runtime might have helped.

...somebody who's desperate for new pony that they haven't seen before.

*shamefacedly raises hand*

There is no such thing as too much pony, but.....
This 'Special' was just a 22 minute episode with a monumental amount of padding.
A sweet story with some great new ponies and I do like the animation style, but still a standard lower end episode.

This is what regular episodes would look like if they had an hour to play with.

It was sweet.
Not ground breaking.
Not climatic.
Just nice.


Author Interviewer

I never realized Torque was patterend off Rosie the Riveter. :O No wonder I liked her.

These new ponies were hard not to like. The special, not so much. <.<

Yeah, I kept expecting a twist villain to appear. They seemed to be hinting at it. The pony looking away in the photo. A couple of strange camera angles that made it look like someone was spying on them. The fact that we had to invent two new types of magic to explain it otherwise.

Still, it felt like overall, their biggest problem was a lack of advertising. It's not that no one cared about the festival, they didn't even know it was still happening.

They had to have gotten this script from g1, right?

I felt the same way you did. This special was . . . fine, and I liked Kerfuffle, but the plot was very bland and could have easily been shortened to 45 minutes, if not 22 minutes. The attempts at humor made me chuckle at best. Granted, not every episode has to be hilarious, but I expect lower-stakes episodes to at least be funny. This was the first pony-thing in a long time that reminded me that I was watching a show aimed at little kids. It was mostly fluff. When the most exciting part of your special is crashing into a rainbow billboard in the first 7 minutes, you've got problems. I even got Corn & Peg vibes from the pegasus twins, despite both of them being pegasi. I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come with G5, but I'm trying to stay positive.

I mean, in the beginning of it at least Pinkie Pie ADMITS that it's not a road trip (what, taking the balloon and all), but the real rub here is that it really isn't a road trip/travel narrative, either.

Yeah, a better title would have been "The End of the Rainbow" - Mayor Sunny even says it in his song.

5082162 Honestly I enjoyed it as a nice little slice of life, and I like that the Mayor didn't turn out to be secretly evil (my initial guess).

But here's my problem with the ending: The big reveal is that the town was grayed out because everyone just gave up hope. But why did they give up hope? As far as we can tell, the Mayor's father and grandfather were good mayors, the town was a nice place to live where everyone was friendly. Then some unknown thing caused everyone to become depressed and hopeless, and that cause the town to turn grey. At the end the town's color is restored and everyone is friendly and gets along with each other. But they were friendly and got along with each other ten years ago as well! The town already had a mayor who tries to hold the community together with a big rainbow festival, and we know that strategy failed in the past.
What is going to stop the town from greying out again in a few years?

I feel like the problem has never been really solved if you don't know the root cause.

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